Something I got excited about as a kid..
Going in to the NRMA (automobile association) and telling the real person about your planned holiday into the wilds of NSW or QLD.
They would rummage with much consideration in their files and hand you a Free Map to guide your joyful holiday.
And that map would be on my lap as we passed endless miles of Aussie bush from one coastal town to the next.
Guiding us to family memories.
I think as I’ve got older I’ve got bolder. More willing to lay out my ridiculous personality for people to make of it what they will.
The strange thing is people are much more comfortable with that and me than they ever were.
It creates problems because you can’t be intimate with everybody. You don’t actually want to be with everybody that likes you. You fall for people that are also willing to be trusting and intimate.
I was such an awkward and serious young man. He was likeable but in retrospect an intolerant and slightly stuffy character.
I’m kinda looking forward to the next Richard who I’m sure will be different again.
Perhaps a more whole person. Integrated and fully in tune with the people around him.
Life is fascinating.
Ps the answer is there is no answer and we need to be good to the people we love and snatch beautiful moments and try and be with people we can fully and openly love with good trust.
Be nice to have you there though.
Wow what a seriously lovely thought.
Sitting in the hot French sun with you waiting for the garden gates to open. You in shorts and me glancing nonchalantly at your freckles.
Enjoyable in brief beautiful moments
In deepest nature
Connecting with nature
Transformation from an ugly caterpillar
Miracle of nature
Each new day
Had to be an adventure
Every moment savoured
Once he realised that time
Was of the essence
That time was both
Friend and foe
Never to be forgotten
And moments of dull
Where he aged inexorably
Without finding answers
He began to treasure
Every nuance of feeling
And texture and sound
Every loving touch
The very ground
He walked upon
They walked upon
And he found
Time began to love him.
I heard a lot of bellbirds this weekend up in the mountains and it reminded me of a conversation I had had.
I was probably 6 and we were driving around the bends up above Gosford north of Sydney. The traffic in those days was terrible and the passage down very slow. Window down in the heat (no air con) and I heard these odd sounds. I asked my Dad about them and he recalled most of the poem below to me by heart.
When I heard them again today I asked my now 79 year old dad (via mine and his iPhones) what was the answer to my question about bellbirds and he immediately recalled this poem. And my memory came alive even more.
Here is this beautiful poem by Kendall.
By channels of coolness the echoes are calling,
And down the dim gorges I hear the creek falling:
It lives in the mountain where moss and the sedges
Touch with their beauty the banks and the ledges.
Through breaks of the cedar and sycamore bowers
Struggles the light that is love to the flowers;
And, softer than slumber, and sweeter than singing,
The notes of the bell-birds are running and ringing.
The silver-voiced bell birds, the darlings of daytime!
They sing in September their songs of the May-time;
When shadows wax strong, and the thunder bolts hurtle,
They hide with their fear in the leaves of the myrtle;
When rain and the sunbeams shine mingled together,
They start up like fairies that follow fair weather;
And straightway the hues of their feathers unfolden
Are the green and the purple, the blue and the golden.
October, the maiden of bright yellow tresses,
Loiters for love in these cool wildernesses;
Loiters, knee-deep, in the grasses, to listen,
Where dripping rocks gleam and the leafy pools glisten:
Then is the time when the water-moons splendid
Break with their gold, and are scattered or blended
Over the creeks, till the woodlands have warning
Of songs of the bell-bird and wings of the Morning.
Welcome as waters unkissed by the summers
Are the voices of bell-birds to the thirsty far-comers.
When fiery December sets foot in the forest,
And the need of the wayfarer presses the sorest,
Pent in the ridges for ever and ever
The bell-birds direct him to spring and to river,
With ring and with ripple, like runnels who torrents
Are toned by the pebbles and the leaves in the currents.
Often I sit, looking back to a childhood,
Mixt with the sights and the sounds of the wildwood,
Longing for power and the sweetness to fashion,
Lyrics with beats like the heart-beats of Passion; -
Songs interwoven of lights and of laughters
Borrowed from bell-birds in far forest-rafters;
So I might keep in the city and alleys
The beauty and strength of the deep mountain valleys:
Charming to slumber the pain of my losses
With glimpses of creeks and a vision of mosses.
A Poem first published in “Leaves from Australian Forests” in 1869 by